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What is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap is a covering for the opening of your chimney that keeps material from getting in, while also letting gases out. This small addition to your chimney can prevent the elements from damaging your chimney and debris from getting inside and blocking it, without interfering with important ventilation. A few types of chimney caps are available for different types of chimneys, and they serve different functions.

Capping Off

A chimney cap is a covering that can be installed on the opening of your chimney to prevent material, debris, and moisture from finding its way in. It’s a simple and effective addition, but you’ll want to make sure you choose the type of cap that works best for your home.

Types of Chimney Caps

There are different types of chimney caps to match different types of chimneys and flues.

Chimney Caps With Legs or Brackets

Any shaped single-flue chimneys need a chimney cap with legs or brackets.

Chimney Caps With Clamps or Screws

A single-flue chimney with extended flues of any shape needs a chimney cap that attaches with clamps or screws.

Top-Mounted Chimney Caps

These types of chimney caps are required by chimneys with more than one flue, or multi-flue chimneys (both with and without extensions).

Custom or Specialized Chimney Caps

Some chimney types, such as double-wall air-insulated metal chimneys, require specific caps that are designed to their specifications. Chimney caps can also be customized with dampers, drafts, or with flue stretching mechanisms.

To Cap or Not to Cap

There are advantages and disadvantages to having a chimney cap on your home’s chimney. Here’s a breakdown:

Advantages of a Chimney Cap

  • Prevents critters and clutter from entering your chimney and getting clogged

  • Blocks air from blowing into the chimney, which can cause downdrafts in your home or smoke to enter your home

  • Blocks rainwater from entering your chimney

Disadvantages of a Chimney Cap

  • The mesh on a chimney cap covering is susceptible to getting dirty and clogged by soot, ash, creosote, or leaves and debris

  • Clogs in chimney caps can restrict airflow in your home

Not sure what type of chimney cap you need? You’re not alone. It’s not too often that you take a really close look at your chimney, it’s specs, or the potential for problems to arise. You might want to skip the research and call a professional to choose and install the right chimney cap for you.

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